George Presley (1889)
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Final Voyage


July 26, 1905: The steamer George Presley was abreast of Washington Island, bound for Escanaba for a cargo of ore, when a blaze which started in the paint locker was discovered. Despite the best efforts of the crew, the fire got entirely out of control. The 16 seamen were forced into their lifeboats and headed toward Washington Island which was about a mile off. The escaping crew was soon met by the Plum Island Lifesaver's surfboat which was responding to the Presley's SOS. The crew were then taken to Escanaba on the tug Lily E.. The lifesaving crew fought the fire for three hours before getting it under control. In the mean time, the vessel had drifted in so close to the West Harbor pier that the pier had started on fire. The steamer was a total loss.

Captain Tom Isabell a salvager from Sturgeon Bay later salvaged the anchors (used on the scow Mike Dohearty), engines , piping, etc. and the tug George Nelson towed the burned hulk down to Sturgeon Bay. The Presley settled on the bottom at the Leathem and Smith boneyard above the Leathem and Smith dock. Machinery, including two boilers (used on the steambarge I.N. Foster) and scrap iron were salvaged over the years.
Service History


The wooden steamer (steam screw) George Presley was built in 1889 by the Globe Drydock & Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The vessel was valued at $95,000 and insured for $70,000 at the time of loss.

June, 1891: The steamer George Presley, ore laden, ashore at Sand Beach, Lake Huron.

September , 1891: The tug Seagull released the Presley from the sand beach on Lake Huron.

Last Document Of Enrollment Surrendered: Cleveland: 12/20/1905: "Vessel Lost".
 
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